Public Technology and Data Strategist, City of San Diego’s Civic Innovation Lab
Xavier Leonard is a designer, researcher and advocate of technologies that make communities more resilient. A graduate of Columbia University, he has been the Public Technology and Data Strategist for the City of San Diego’s Civic Innovation Lab, Media and Communications Specialist with the Center on Policy Initiatives and a Senior Fellow in Emerging Technology at the SDSU Visualization Center. He was the founding director of Heads on Fire and the Heads on Fire Fab Lab. That program was selected as a national model in the United States for teaching technology in out-of-school settings.
Leonard has been honored as a Z-Fellow of the Zero Divide Foundation, an Ideas Institute Fellow of the MIT Media Lab, and a TEC Champion by the United States Congress. His design projects have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Institute of Contemporary Art,London; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; the Biennial Soundwave Festival, San Francisco; Franklin Furnace, NYC; The Knitting Factory, NYC; and the Centre International Francais, Ouagadougo, Burkina Faso, among other venues. His work has been supported by the Western States Arts Federation; the San Diego Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts; the Institute of International Education; the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, New American Radio and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.
A proponent and producer of Open Source software and hardware projects, Leonard has spoken on the benefits of Open Knowledge, Open Data and Open Government at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki and Berlin; the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia; the Air Jaldi Summit on Wireless Technologies in Dharamsala, India; the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks; the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference; the Community Technology Center Network Conference; the signature Maker Faires in San Mateo and NYC, TEDx America's Finest City and the Global Fab Lab Conference. Most recently, he was Innovator-in-Residence at San Fransisco's Children's Creativity Museum.